How To Increase Your Willpower

Willpower. It’s long been alleged that it’s something that you either have, or you don’t: a few blessed individuals are born with steely determination and indomitable spirits, while the rest of the unwashed masses are willowy, wishy-washy reeds in the wind who will break under the slightest prevarication!

Both of these theses are absolutely wrong. I’ve said it many times before, and I will undoubtedly say it again: when it comes to training, you can train a hell of a lot more than just your skeletal muscles. And as you could probably figure out, I believe willpower to be one of those attributes that can be trained.

A Few Notes On Willpower

The overall idea I will be conveying to you today is that willpower is, for all intents and purposes, a non-physical “muscle” that can be trained, just as the muscles of your legs and arms can be trained. And much like those corporeal muscles, willpower can be “depleted”—i.e., you can be made to be less willing to do difficult things and endure pain over the course of the day.

People in the past understood that this was something to be trained, but for whatever reason this knowledge was forgotten over time. Some (such as the Art of Manliness) believe that the rise of consumer culture and the whole “follow your bliss” ideal created a culture of people that “go with the flow” and feel that the very act of doing something you don’t want to do is “fascist.” Whether that is the case or not, one does have to acknowledge that people just seem a lot “flimsier” today—mentally and physically.

So now that we have already established that willpower is a “muscle” that can be trained, the overarching question is: what exercises can be done to train the willpower?

Willpower Training Exercises

To put it very simply, the only way to train willpower is to force yourself into any habit or exercise that demands concentration and self control.

That statement may seem uselessly vague to you, so let me put it another way: By forcing yourself out of your mental and physical “comfort zone,” you will automatically be training your willpower. And by that, I mean doing ANYTHING that forces you out of your comfort zone will strengthen your resolve and willpower!

Before you jump to any conclusions, let me say that: while doing big, life-threatening things will certainly put your willpower to the test, you absolutely do not need to start with them! A newbie in the gym doesn’t slap three plates onto the bar and do an ass to grass squat, correct? So why should you expect some dork who’s never done anything difficult in his life to suddenly pack everything up and go climb a mountain?

Just as the gym novice starts with light weights and builds his strength up to tackle the heavier weights, so too does a willpower novice begin with small, mundane things before truly testing his will.

I find that the easiest exercise to do to train willpower is to change some minor habit. Getting rid of a bad habit is the best, but even changing one behavior to a nigh-identical one trains the willpower. Something such as brushing your teeth with the opposite hand, going out of your way to organize a shelf or take out the garbage when you don’t want to, or deliberately focusing on your posture throughout the day will all serve to make your willpower stronger.

To cite an example of myself, I used to have a problem with biting my nails. Deliberate concentration on the matter led me to stop this bad habit, which I haven’t done since I was in high school. Similarly, through deliberate concentration on it I conquered another bad habit I had, that of “jimmy legs.”

In addition to strengthening your willpower in the short term, these deliberate concentrations of willpower will eventually become rote habits. And since things you do mechanically do not require a deliberate use of willpower, this will free up your “reserves” of willpower to tackle another problem you have.

Subjecting yourself to a small bit of pain every day is also a way to train this nonphysical “muscle”-try listening to music you hate or watching a TV show you don’t like for a few minutes, each day, a little more at a time. If you can endure its inanity, you will have undoubtedly made your will stronger. Or, if you find yourself having an itch somewhere on your body, resisting the urge to scratch it is a great method of training.

Should you desire to set some time aside to deliberately strengthen the willpower, here’s an exercise I devised:

Just stand perfectly still and don’t move. Don’t scratch any itches or adjust your clothes or anything. Just hold that position and stay stock still, don’t even move your eyes from whatever it is they’re looking at. Start with a 10 minute hold, and increase the time bit by bit. The best part is, you don’t need a recovery period to train this like you do with your muscles—you can do it every day.

Speaking of physical training, the easiest way to train willpower is to train the physical body, as training the physical will automatically train the mental. In particular, static holds are tailor made to train the willpower, as they all involve the repeated addition of greater and greater intervals of time-whether it be the splits, the L-Sit, the horse stance, or other positions I have previously discussed. But truly, just following a set routine of working out every week will do wonders for your will.

Me doing an L-Sit

And don’t think that the practice of game won’t increase willpower either. Working up the courage to approach that 10/10 girl will force you to exert your will over yourself, and hopefully over her as well. And, just as I’ve been saying, forcing yourself to repeatedly leave your comfort zone will eventually EXPAND your comfort zone, making those previously scary things a walk in the park and leaving you game to conquer the next beast.

If you’re reading this article, I’ll assume you’re training either your body or your seduction skills. Either way, you’re already doing a primitive sort of willpower training. To make your willpower even stronger, get out of your comfort zone at least once a day, attack any of your bad habits and replace them with good ones, and you’ll see your mental capacity increase.

Read More: How To Balance Intense Physical Training With Living Life

53 thoughts on “How To Increase Your Willpower”

  1. “You must act like a warrior. One learns to act like a warrior by acting, not by talking. A warrior has only his will and his patience and with them he builds anything he wants. You have no more time for retreats or for regrets. You only have time to live like a warrior and work for patience and will. Will is something very special. It happens mysteriously. There is no real way of telling how one uses it, except that the results of using the will are astounding. Perhaps the first thing that one should do is to know that one can develop the will. A warrior knows that and proceeds to wait for it.” ~ Excerpt from “A Separate Reality” by Carlos Castaneda
    This website is dedicated to researching the will and its applications; interesting stuff –

        1. What “current fitness exercises” are you referring to? And what do you mean by “warrior”?
          Btw, all due respect but you may need some editing on your website. Surely you mean Ian Darke rather than Ian Durke?
          Can I also suggest that you don’t quote from Wikipedia? Weakens your case.

        2. Current fitness exercises = exercises of the modern fitness industry, for example: machine exercises, dumbbell exercises, barbell exercises (although the best, after warrior exercises), bodyweight exercises
          “Warrior” = someone who was dependent on his physical strength to survive (for example the ancient warriors, as seen in the ancient statues). In the warrior society, the right training exercises were a matter of life and death. In current capitalistic society, training exercises are rather promoted to sell equipment and gym memberships
          Ian Durke should be Ian Darke -> thanks for noticing
          Don’t quote from Wikipedia -> my case does not stand or fall by quotations. These quotations are supportive. Besides that, Wikipedia is excellent as a first portal of verification.The reader can always decide to accept/deny the quote based on further research. Wikipedia got a bad reputation because the media reported incidents of people starting to edit biographies of people they don’t like, often not stating that these edits were already removed within hours.
          I appreciate the feedback, but it would be more awesome if you would also give feedback on the content

        3. I’ll take another look at the website. I agree with your approach btw and I myself follow an approach backed by centuries of warrior training going back to the Spartans.
          On Wikipedia – the biggest problem with Wikipedia is that it is not a primary source and is frequently inaccurate (too inaccurate to be reliable). It is better in my opinion to quote from the original sources as in the fitness industry you are dealing with a lot of very shrewd people. If you quote from Wiki rather than direct you inserting an extra step for your customers to take in order to satisfy themselves that they can trust you. An extra step that your competitors may not force upon their customers.
          For the record I never rely on Wiki for anything.
          Thanks anyway, your approach looks very interesting. Btw that pic of Mike Tyson is very revealing. He is a big guy but has none of the bulk of a bodybuilder. Yet he would tear the head off of a bodybuilder… even now!

        4. you say your book is compatible with combat sports, does that mean you include training plans which accomodate for skill trainining?

        5. The warrior exercises for attack and defense allign with the actual executions of attack and defense in a fight. Hence, when you are doing the fitness program, you are also training the performances of the movements in a fight. Attack and defense becomes second nature

    1. We are the choir here I think. People who actually have the will power to improve themselves will read these articles to pick up additional tips. Others simply look for excuses.
      So somebody who wants to develop the will actually already has willpower. Other people seek to avoid all unpleasantness, unwittingly creating for themselves an unpleasant future. These people have no will power and will never develop it.
      The process of turning a boy into a man is analogous to turning iron ore into hard steel. The ore is broken down to release the impurities and then beaten into shape upon an anvil. The result is hard and beautiful steel. A powerful weapon. For a boy to become a warrior he must go through a similar process.

      1. I agree to an extent-anyone interested in developing willpower already has a degree of it, more so than the average schlub.
        But like I say in the article, it’s a muscle that can be trained, and while you may be pretty strong, wouldn’t you want to be even stronger? Similarly, wouldn’t you like to develop the willpower to endure freezing temperatures like Wim Hof? (I recently got his video set, I’ll probably do another article on that sometime down the line.)

        1. Funny I was just talking to someone about Wim Hof. That strange phenomenon where you think about something and then several people mention the same thing to you.
          Yes I totally agree that you can improve your will power. But I do wonder if there is a certain amount of determinism to our lives. In other words, some of us are built for this kind of thing and others are not.
          Yes please do an article on Wim Hof.

      2. Gay new age bullshit. In the immortal words of Popeye “You are what you are and that’s all that you are.”
        I’m just trying to picture Genghis Khan reading a ‘self improvement’ book.

      3. That’s an excellent analogy.
        I would challenge your first paragraph however. While that ‘first step’ (coming here, reading the articles) is important, its really the second, third….four hundred-seventy seventh step that matters. Its easy to start things, I think most men have dozens of unfinished projects going on. The discipline of following through is where willpower is developed.

  2. Cold showers….every time. It’s awesome and gives one a sense of accomplishment before your day begins.

    1. Wim Hof’s program, too. Ten to thirty minutes of controlled breathing, continued in an ice bath (the breathing represses shivering), and you’ll feel like a beast.
      For those of us who have a winter, going outside shirtless in shorts for a set time (five minutes for me at this point) works equally well.

    2. This. Ive been working on doing the Wim Hof method, and one of the tasks is to work your way up doing cold showers. I cna now do 10 minutes straight, and whatever mood you are in when you start, you feel like a man when its done.
      Also the breathing exercises are intense, Wim knows how to teach a course. Go to his site and purchase his stuff.

        1. I hold a burning coal in my buttcheeks while having a cold shower first thing in the morning thanks to Kratom!

        2. Not only that I walk buck naked to work every day, and get dressed at my desk because KRATOM!

  3. The best way to increase ones willpower is to stay off MSM click bait. Not being exposed to articles that glorify transgender lunacy and other insane causes not only takes web surfing acumen, it takes concerted will power. You also get to keep your sanity and more hair, as you won’t be pulling it out in rage at the zombie propaganda.

      1. Must… not.. click bait in margin… aaah its no good. I had to know how Lisa Bonet turned so ugly.

    1. Leaving Facebook and never looking back is another way to regain self control. Most social media sites add zero value to your life and have devolved into vehicles for rabid narcissism, SJW virtue signaling, and moral grandstanding.
      “Just walk away, and there will be an end to the horror.”

      1. I only have a facebook account to keep up appearances. Whether you like it or not in this day and age people, especially women, try to search you up when you’ve just met them to get a feel of what you’re like. If you tell them you haven’t got any form of social media they will think you’re a creepy loner.
        Social media doesn’t have to be the time sink that people here claim it to be. Simply upload a picture to facebook once in a while and carry on with your day. It’s only problematic when you spends hours mindlessly scrolling through your feed.

        1. Whenever the subject comes up, I always tell them that I’m currently “taking a break” from social media and explain a few reasons why. Then I get to watch the rationalization hamster wheel in their brain start turning. “Oh I rarely ever use Facebook… I only have it to keep in touch with family” or “Yeah.. Instagram is getting played out, I rarely use it anymore…”
          By the third or fourth time getting together with them, there they are, thumbing through their feeds while sitting right next to me. It’s an interesting social experiment, give it a try sometime.

        2. Got that right. I find it very useful to learn things about people which helps me make my mind up about people. Also its a great way to stay in touch with friends in other countries and share knowledge.
          I’m currently using it to develop my business network to a great degree of success. People who don’t take advantage of it like this will fall behind.

        3. ” If you tell them you haven’t got any form of social media they will think you’re a creepy loner”
          For me it was different – a while back I was on a date with a chick (was in EE) and I told her I do not use social media. She actually thought that was cool.

        1. Yep, it’s a great way to keep in touch with friends and family …….. don’t give your ID out to whores.

        2. I’ve made 104000 bucks previous year by doing an online job from home a­n­d I was able to do it by work­ing part time f­­o­­r 3+ h every day. I followed work model I found online and I am happy that I was able to earn such great money. It’s so newbie-friendly a­n­d I’m just so happy that i found it. Here is what i do…

  4. say no to a gal kneeling in front of you begging to s your d. that will test your willpower.

      1. You Catholic?
        Us Mormons are taught to repent continually to overcome any thing we fall short on. If the sin is big enough, we will go talk to the Bishop about it. If needed, there are counseling/rehabilitation programs provided by the church that are available. The bread and water are symbolic of Christs sacrifice and will serve as a weekly reminder to recommit yourself to follow him, so long as you are worthy (not committed a sin grievous enough that warrants a confession to the Bishop), we are encouraged to take the sacrament weekly.

  5. Willpower?
    If you believe that you will be the same one year later and feel disgusted by that then the power of shame will motivate you to improve. That is your internal willpower right there.

    1. I think that sentiment is motivation, rather than willpower. Still, the two go together and its a good point.

  6. One way to cultivate willpower is to set a routine, and abide by it. This is very silent and undemonstrative, but not quite as easy as it looks. Routines override emotion, and once set, they improve willpower and self control, becoming easier all the time.

  7. I found not stuffing my face with potato chips and coke every afternoon was a positive exercise in willpower, that enabled me to lose weight and get fitter. Oft times *not* doing something negative is far harder than doing something positive, but has far-reaching benefits.

Comments are closed.